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Katharine Leab
Rare Book Expert and Professional Pushy Old Broad
Rare Book Expert and Professional Pushy Old Broad

Katharine's posts

Ton Cremers <>: Feb 15 01:04AM -0800

It is wishful thinking that stolen rare books are difficult to sell. Chris
Marinello is right that very often books are taken apart to sell
illustrations, or even manuscript pages separately. Contrary to most
cultural objects books, like prints, are made in series. Very little
alterations, cutting the edges or adding/removing owner stamps, make it
quite difficult to prove legal ownership...if the objects are recovered
anyway. This even goes for manuscripts. Some 15 years ago there was an
inside job at the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris where a specialist in
Hebrew manuscripts managed to export a valuable manuscript after cutting
the edges, and removing a few pages. He himself was authorized to sign the
export permit.

Insider theft in libraries and archives is a major threat. Most
unfortunately management of those institutions are afraid to take
sufficient precautionary measures out of fear that staff will regard this
as mistrust. Trusting staff is a very weak starting point for security. It
is far better to base your trust on your security system in stead of
people. Trusting staff comes second after trusting your system.
One must always realize that it may take many years before inside thefts
are noticed.
There are many ways to improve the security system against insider theft.
Off list I will be glad to mention those.

Ton Cremers

This apropos the huge book theft at Heathrow. As usual, Ton Cremers gets it precisely right.

Interesting idea, Ian.  Wonder what an empty shelf looks like....

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Not certain what this is supposed to prove, but at least a reporter visited some used bookstores. Like the idea of "try to hand out in places with free air"

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Book thief or not?

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Thieves and actors one more time....

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More important -- Swaim's many audio interviews with authors.

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Always some item of interest in here.

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Why is it that when you change your picture on G+, the old one remains in posts, etc? Time lag or glitch?
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